Tag Archive for e-scooters

Morning Links: Iconic LA interchange condemned Angelenos to car hell, and 2nd US e-scooter death in DC crash

Nice piece in The Guardian from LA’s Nate Berg, who says one of the most famous — and infamous — buildings in LA is a freeway interchange.

He singles out 1948’s groundbreaking four-level freeway interchange in DTLA, which set the standard for cities around the world.

For better or worse.

And helped condemn the city’s residents to a life dependent on cars; an unwilling addiction we’re still fighting to overcome.

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Sadly, it was almost inevitable.

The nation’s second e-scooter death was announced over the weekend, as a man riding one was killed in a DC collision, just weeks after a Dallas man died after falling off a scooter — a crash his family blamed on a hit-and-run.

And no bias here, as a tech website unfairly puts the blame on Lime for the deaths.

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Brandi D’Amore forwards news that Bike Index is rapidly nearing their 5,000th stolen bicycle recovery. Just one more reason to register your bike right now.

And if you want to donate to Bike Index, here’s the link.

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Local

Nice gesture from 3rd District LA Councilmember Bill Blumenfield, who introduced a motion in the council (scroll down to the ninth page) that would allow permanent memorial signs calling for safer driving where bike riders were killed. If they did the same for pedestrians, there’d be a sign on nearly every corner. Thanks to TJ Knight for the heads-up.

CiclaValley offers his thoughts on placing a ghost bike for the victim of last week’s bicycling crash in Winnetka, saying it didn’t have to happen.

Loyola Marymount University held its own Bike Week last week to introduce students to bicycling on campus.

Writing for the Pasadena Star-News, Steve Scauzillo offers lessons learned from Pasadena’s failed Metro Bike bikeshare program, placing the blame on a lack of sponsorship and safe streets.

 

State

San Diego’s Bike IB rolled from Imperial Beach yesterday to encourage women to be more comfortable riding a bike.

Thousand Oaks opened a new park offering six miles of trails and a bicycle skills park.

San Jose residents turned out in force to celebrate the city’s fourth annual open streets event.

 

National

Wired considers the nation’s stubborn bicycling gap, saying American cities are either cycling cities, or hardly one at all.

The conservative AASHTO guide has finally added design standards for protected bike lanes.

The Electrek website looks at the new ebikes introduced at last weekend’s Interbike bike show in Reno, while a writer for Singletrack compares the show with earlier editions in Las Vegas.

Bicyclists in a St. Louis suburb have started a petition calling for a Complete Streets ordinance that would require it to consider bike riders and pedestrians in any street project.

Milwaukee bike riders are worried about the city’s new streetcar after a number of riders have been injured on the tracks, months before it actually opens.

A Wisconsin letter writer says, contrary to common perceptions, bike riders already pay more than their fair share.

A new Minnesota study shows drivers are less likely to buzz bicyclists in bike lanes, especially in protected bike lanes.

No bias here, either. A Detroit writer complains about a growing sense of entitlement and invulnerability among pedestrians, blaming the victims for the rising rate of pedestrian deaths. If she thinks pedestrians are entitled, just wait until someone tells her about drivers. Or just hands her a mirror.

An Ohio bike shop owner says yes, riding a bike on the sidewalk is dangerous, but sometimes it’s the best choice.

Streetsblog says charging a New York bus driver who killed a bicyclist with a misdemeanor for violating the victim’s right-of-way is like “letting Jack the Ripper off with a misdemeanor for soliciting a prostitute.” Yet somehow, a British tabloid still finds a way to blame the victim. A video showing the crash was released last week. However, I wouldn’t recommend watching it; there are some things you just can’t unsee.

Definitely no bias here, as an Annapolis, Maryland newspaper asks if a new downtown bike lane broke the city.

I want to be like him when I grow up. An 85-year old Virginia man still rides his age on his birthday.

A New Orleans website says the city is literally walking and biking away from their cars.

 

International

Sony introduces a set of wireless earbuds that are designed to enhance environmental sounds, allowing you to hear both your music and the noises around you.

This is the cost of traffic violence. A British expert in human and molecular genetics who was researching hearing and sight loss in children was killed in a collision with a London black cab driver.

An English woman still has her bike because a bystander intervened to stop a young thief as he was riding off with it.

A man in the UK is riding 200 miles on his seven-year old daughter’s pink bicycle to raise awareness of the brain tumor that killed her three years ago.

Britain is planning to connect a network of existing horse trails to create a 1,000-mile offroad bikeway running the entire length of the country.

A British high school has ordered students to place numbered license plates on their bikes so people can report any antisocial behavior to the school. However, anyone who arrives on foot or by car is apparently welcome to carry on, antisocial or otherwise.

A road raging Irish cab driver intentionally brake checked a man, knocking him off his bicycle after arguing with him moments earlier; the whole incident was caught on video.

Oslo, Norway is taking a number of steps to actively discourage driving in the city center to “give the city back to the people.” Which drivers naturally see as a war on cars.

Three-quarters of Swiss voters agreed to enshrine bicycling in the country’s constitution to protect the rights of bike riders, forty years after voters protected hiking and walking. And no, that’s not likely to happen here in the US anytime soon.

A Venice, Italy design exhibition features the work of British bespoke bicycle maker Hartley Cycles, founded by a former artist and jewelry maker.

A bicycle ambulance program is saving the lives of people suffering from malaria in Zambia, and could be rolled out across Africa.

Collisions between bike riders and kangaroos are on the rise in Australia, and expected to double the normal annual total as a drought brings the wild animals out of the bush.

An Aussie mom has forbidden her teen children from bicycling after concluding the country’s drivers are too aggressive behind the wheel.

 

Competitive Cycling

British Cycling officials have approved adding a sixth day to the women’s Tour of Britain, which already offers prize money equal to the eight-day men’s race.

 

Finally…

Seriously, stealing a kid’s bike is bad enough without taking a dump on their lawn. How to lie and beg your way into a new bike.

And Trump ordering the removal of bike lanes is just a bad joke.

For now, anyway.

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Join the Militant Angeleno and BikinginLA for the first-ever Militant Angeleno’s Epic CicLAvia Tour at the Celebrate LA! LA Phil 100 CicLAvia this Sunday!

Just RSVP to [email protected] We want to guarantee a relatively small group to make sure we can keep the group together, and everyone can hear.

Morning Links: Court sticks LA and Caltrans for $9.1 million in PCH crash, and Brown signs e-scooter helmet bill

In the latest massive court case against the City of Los Angeles, a jury awarded $9.1 million to a man injured while riding his bike on PCH.

The Los Angeles Times reports Robert Jeffrey Watts suffered a severe brain injury four year ago, when he swerved his bike to go around rocks and debris on PCH in Pacific Palisades, and was struck by the wing mirror of a passing truck.

Watts came across a pile of sand and rocks on the pavement, and steered into the travel lane to avoid the debris. He was struck by a truck’s side mirror and lost control of his bicycle, resulting in a crash that left him with a “significant amount of brain damage,” according to a complaint filed in 2015 in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Watts was an experienced bicyclist who rode to his office in Culver City for years to keep fit, said his attorney, Boris Treyzon. Watts, who ran a successful freelance camera company, was left unable to work.

The jury split blame for the case, finding Caltrans 40% liable for the crash, with Los Angeles responsible for the rest.

Caltrans, which owns the highway, had hired Los Angeles to sweep the pavement at least once a month and keep it free of debris, but jury testimony and records left it unclear how often the work was performed, Treyzon said.

During the trial, he said, two city street sweepers testified that at the Tramonto slide, “they would simply swing around … and ignore it,” rather than remove the sand, gravel and rocks from the roadway.

No surprise there to anyone who has watched LA City street sweepers in action. Or had to ride through the debris they left behind.

The size of these awards keep climbing. And those payments come out of your taxes.

Money that would be much better spent to fund quality bike infrastructure and safer streets to keep bike riders and pedestrians from getting injured.

Instead of paying out massive legal judgements after they do.

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Go ahead and scoot without a skid lid.

To the surprise of some — okay, me — Governor Brown signed AB 2989, allowing adult users of e-scooters to ride without a helmet.

In addition, the law allows scooters on streets with speed limits up to 35 mph; current law limits scooters to streets with speed limits up to 25 mph unless they have bike lanes.

No word on when the law takes effect.

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CiclaValley wants to know whether Decker Canyon or Westlake Blvd offers the scarier descent.

Although Phil Gaiman might vote for Tuna Canyon.

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Cheetahs don’t pedal.

Just saying.

 

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Local

Ride Metro Bike bikeshare free tomorrow for World Car Free Day.

A writer for City Watch takes a miserable walk down Fairfax Blvd, followed by a harrowing bike ride. And says Metro could fund trees, sidewalk improvements and bike lanes on Fairfax, as well as on Wilshire Blvd and all the major streets in the area that connect to Wilshire, for less than $50 million. Let’s hope someone is listening to him.

Downtowners weigh in on plans to remake LA’s Civic Center, calling for protected bike lanes and trails with bike and scooter parking.

Bicycling profiles the founder of LA-based women’s bikewear brand Machines for Freedom.

The third annual Gran Fondo Santa Clarita rolls next Saturday.

 

State

The Tahoe-Pyramid Trail is nearing completion, following the Truckee River 116 miles from the north shore of Lake Tahoe to Nevada’s Pyramid Lake.

 

National

A writer for Forbes explains in detail why you have a greater right to ride a bicycle than to drive a car, and proposes a Micromobility Bill of Rights giving you the same entitlement on smaller devices like e-scooters.

Bicycling looks at the “newest and coolest gear” from this year’s Interbike show.

Your next bike could be made of Super Magnesium.

No bias here. A Colorado columnist complains about “Bicyclist Entitlement Syndrome,” saying courteous bike riders are so rare you never see them. And the rest park their bikes on handicap ramps and run over kittens.

Omaha police agree to keep patrolling the city’s paved trails in response to bike riders’ concerns about “wrongdoers.”

A Chicago city alderman has proposed requiring bike riders to dismount and walk their bikes on the popular downtown Riverwalk, saying it’s a disaster waiting to happen.

The administrators of the bike-hating Northern Kentucky Facebook group we linked to earlier this week have turned it into a closed group after it got public attention, and changed the name to “Share the Road;” local bicyclists are worried it could incite violence against bike riders.

Police in Knoxville TN are the latest department to use an ultrasonic radar device to enforce the three-foot passing law. The LAPD, not so much.

A pair of Cleveland bike riders were brutally attacked and robbed in separate early morning attacks.

New York is closing a pair of key bike lanes, apparently for security reasons, in preparation for next week’s United Nations General Assembly meeting — but leaving open a car tunnel that runs directly underneath.

A DC Twitter bot instantly uncovers the unpaid traffic tickets for any license plate, including one driver with 84 tickets totaling $10,700. Can we get that here in LA? Pretty please?

 

International

The co-founder of Zipcar warns the changes autonomous vehicles will bring could be paradise, or it could be hell.

Bike Radar offers tips on how to take inexperienced bike riders out for their first road ride.

Now that it’s legal north of the border, Canada’s military says don’t drive for 24 hours after you toke.

The Guardian looks at the colorful reinvention of city intersections.

Now that’s more like it. After a driver in the UK tweets that she should have run over a bike rider, police tell her to return her license because she’s clearly not fit to have one.

A British ebike maker says restricting ebikes to 15.5 mph in the UK and European Union is too slow for riders to be safe in traffic.

A Brit bike rider blames Strava for leading thieves to his home, where they stole five bikes worth nearly $16,000.

Heartbreaking news from the Netherlands, where four children were killed when the daycare cargo bike they were riding in was hit by a train.

VeloNews takes a tour of Italian bicycle factories.

 

Competitive Cycling

Forty-three-year old Amber Neben continues to defy the calendar as she prepares to compete for her third road world championship.

But maybe you’d rather watch bike racers about 40 years younger.

 

Finally…

Forget bike polo, it’s Cycleball season. Now you can own your very own British bike chain; no, not that kind.

And maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think those are bike racks.

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Thanks David D, and everyone who has contributed this week, for their generous donations to help support this site. 

One final reminder, if everyone who visits this site today donated just $10, it would be more than enough to keep it going for a full year.

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Join the Militant Angeleno and BikinginLA for the first-ever Militant Angeleno’s Epic CicLAvia Tour at the Celebrate LA! LA Phil 100 CicLAvia on September 30th!

Just RSVP to [email protected] We want to guarantee a relatively small group to make sure we can keep the group together, and everyone can hear.

Morning Links: Near miss from speeding Lyft driver, and why bike lanes matter more than parking

Join the Militant Angeleno and BikinginLA for the first-ever Militant Angeleno’s Epic CicLAvia Tour at the Celebrate LA! LA Phil 100 CicLAvia on September 30th!

Just RSVP to [email protected] We want to guarantee a relatively small group to make sure we can keep the group together, and everyone can hear.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels.com.

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An LA bike rider is nearly run down by a speeding Lyft driver.

https://twitter.com/EntitledCycling/status/1039182608200949760

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Former New York traffic commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan explains why protected bike lanes are more valuable than parking spaces, saying there’s not a better investment.

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San Diego’s chief medical officer joins the chorus of officials who are certain someone will be killed by an e-scooter soon. Just wait until he learns about cars.

They get it. The Washington Post makes a subtle point with a quiz asking if hysterical quotes are historic comments about early bicycles, or current ones about e-scooters.

Slate says the backlash over e-scooters proves Uber’s tactic of deploying in a city and asking for permission later was right.

And Vox says cities should take their own rhetoric about sustainability seriously and embrace scooters, rather than misguidedly trying to squash them.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. A Rochester NY man believes a hit-and-run driver targeted him on purpose, after the driver made a U-turn and swerved off the roadway to hit him as he rode his bike on the shoulder.

If they find him, he should face a charge of assault with a deadly weapon at a bare minimum, if not attempted murder. But probably won’t.

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Local

The Cypress Park Neighborhood Council will discuss requesting Metro Bike bikeshare at tomorrow’s meeting.

 

State

San Diego police conducted a bike and pedestrian safety operation on Monday, issuing 137 tickets and 27 warnings, almost all of which went to drivers, along with some pedestrians.

 

National

Great piece from Bike Snob’s Eban Weiss, who argues that bike riders don’t really have the same rights and responsibilities of drivers. And your only responsibility as a role model is to make it look fun and like something anyone can do.

Go ahead and catch a few extra Z’s. A new study shows an afternoon nap can enhance endurance performance. Just don’t do it while you’re riding.

Mark Zuckerberg used to be one of us, but isn’t anymore after crashing his bike two years ago while training for a triathlon.

Portland installs a curb-protected bicycle roundabout to help riders get through a dangerous intersection.

A Sierra Club member takes the slow road home, bicycling 380 miles down the Oregon coast to rehab a torn hamstring and a broken heart.

Bicycling credits a bike shop and its African American owner with saving Denver’s troubled Five Points neighborhood.

San Antonio bicyclists are on edge after a series of assault on a secluded bike trail.

Three Arkansas cities are about to get as many curb protected bike lanes as Los Angeles has, thanks to a gift from the Walton Foundation. That would be just one. And they’re doing it the easy and less expensive way, using prefabricated curbs.

A political website wonders why more government officials don’t bike to the US capital, and places the blame on DC weather and the lack of safe bikeways.

The Baltimore Sun explains why the fight over bike lanes inspires such passion on both sides.

An Annapolis MD letter writer can’t seem to decide if he’s mad because a new contraflow bike lane took away 50 parking spaces, or just 36 prime ones. Then again, a bike rider doesn’t seem to like it much, either.

A North Carolina man rode across the US with a touring group, crossing ten states and one Canadian province, just one year after breaking his neck in a bicycling fall; he’s raised over $10,000 for rehabilitation hospital that saved him.

 

International

Cycling Weekly says having an offroad adventure is easier than you think.

Bike Radar discusses the top five trends for next year’s high-end road bikes.

Cycling Tips explains everything you always wanted to know about tire pressure, rim width and the limits of safety, but were afraid to ask. Even if they do spell tire wrong. 

Red Bull catches up with Michael Strasser as he rides down the left coast from Alaska to the tip of Patagonia, passing through Columbia on Sunday.

Residents of Cambridge, England are fighting plans for an inexpensive hotel owned by the budget airline easyJet, which comes with its own bike fleet.

The British government is investing the equivalent of $2.6 million dollars to support the development and deployment of e-cargo bikes. You’ll know they’re serious when they add a few zeros to that.

A Scottish lawyer says a call to register and license bicyclists, while requiring them to wear helmets and high viz, and take a cycling proficiency test, is “frankly bizarre and completely impractical.” If I ever need a lawyer in Scotland, I know who I’m calling.

The Washington Post offers an obituary for legendary Italian framebuilder Dario Pergoretti.

If you’re going to do a gran fondo, it might as well be in Mallorca, Spain.

Bikeshare is off to a quick start in Bratislava, Slovakia, although some people are already vandalizing the bikes.

Over 3,000 bicyclists and motorcyclists took part in a two-wheeled pilgrimage to honor their patron saint in Malta.

India is installing a 7-mile long solar bike path, with the panels on posts to cover the path and protect riders from sun and rain, while generating six megawatts of clean power every day.

Bhutanese farmers are some of us, too.

Singaporeans slam a photo of a cop using a speed gun to enforce the city-state’s 15 mph speed limit for bicycles on bike paths and shared pathways.

 

Competitive Cycling

It’s a rest day at the Vuelta, while VeloNews considers why Colombia keeps producing talented cyclists.

 

Finally…

Your next bike could cost $21,000, but you can totally customize it. Seriously, if you’re wanted on outstanding warrants, put a damn light on your bike — and don’t crash into the patrol car when they  try to stop you.

And yes, calling attention to prostate cancer is a good cause, but no.

Oh, hell no.

  

Morning Links: Motorist blames Vision Zero, the real problems on our streets, and the best bicycle dog chase ever

Honestly, I don’t even know where to start with this one.

A writer for the extremist National Motorists Association blames New York’s Vision Zero for everything this side of the Lindberg kidnapping.

Vision Zero is a huge nightmare for everyone that lives or works in NYC. Since the introduction here of Vision Zero, commute times have more than doubled. The city has introduced road diets, has converted streets for bike and bus only lanes and has gotten rid of left turn lanes. These changes have made NYC streets nearly impassableRoad rage has now become more common due to frustration, crowded roads and less space to drive.

Under the Vision Zero regime, driving to work during morning rush hour takes hours instead of minutes. NYC has become anti-car and really anti-transit too since there seems to be little money available to fix the decrepit subway system. The use of congestion pricing to help pay for the subway won’t help either. Is it fair to make motorists pay for public transportation when we might not even use it?

Never mind that improving public transportation relieves pressure on the traffic grid, as more people choose not to drive.

Let alone his unsupported claim that commute times have doubled — or maybe it’s gone from mere minutes to hours, since he doesn’t seem sure.

Which you’d think would result in higher stress levels, though most New Yorkers seem to disagree.

He also takes offense at “entitled” pedestrians and bike riders who apparently throw themselves in front of those poor, put-upon motorists in hopes of getting hit.

Road diets are one thing but another side product of Vision Zero is that it has produced  a generation of distracted and entitled pedestrians who expect motorists to yield to them as soon as they step foot into the street even when crossing against the light or outside of legal crosswalks. I have witnessed so many close calls where pedestrians with intent moved in front of a moving vehicle because they know whatever happens, the motorist will always be at fault. The same holds true for bicyclists who seem to think that the rules of the road do not apply to them.

But seriously, it’s worth reading, if only to understand who we share the roads with.

Or because you need a good laugh.

Photo by Stanley Nguma via Pexels.com

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Good question.

A mobility blogger says cities are dithering with e-scooter caps, while ignoring the real problem.

When was the last time cities like San Fransisco, Santa Monica, or Los Angeles threatened Ford or GM with cease and desist letters, or slapped them with vehicle caps, or threatened to ban them from cities for creating, say SUVs, that are even more deadly than regular cars, even when we knew they were more deadly 14 years ago?

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Stop whatever you’re doing, and check out the best bike chase in recent memory, as a couple of ebike riders pursue a runaway dog in a hair-raising ride through the streets of New York.

And be sure to stick around for the surprising denouement.

Update: Unfortunately, it looks like they’ve taken down the original version I’d embedded.

Here’s a less edited and non-captioned version of the video. But it’s worth clicking on the link above to get the full effect.

Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up. And the best laugh I’ve had in weeks.

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Local

If you’re headed to the 13th Annual AltCar Expo and Conference in Santa Monica this weekend, go by bicycle and take advantage of the free bike valet. Or better yet, just forget the car and buy a good ebike or cargo bike instead.

Talk about the cup half full. While everyone else saw LA’s e-scooter pilot program as compromise to keep scooters on the streets, KNBC-4 says it will force thousands of scooters off them.

 

State

An Op-Ed in the Desert Sun calls for creating protected bike lanes in a planned makeover of Indian Canyon Drive to create a Complete Street that works for everyone.

Something virtually every bike rider can relate to, as a Thousand Oaks bike rider was forced to jam on the brakes when a driver cut across two lanes of traffic to make a right turn from the left laneLet’s give a shout out to TOPD deputy Mike Berg, who says bike riders are at fault in some of the crashes between bicyclists and drivers in the Conejo Valley. Which is undoubtedly true, as is the obverse. 

Protected bike lanes barely win out over parking spaces in San Luis Obispo, as residents argue a cycle track would actually make bicycling more dangerous.

A mobility website asks if San Francisco just solved scooter sharing.

 

National

Treehugger says we all have to stop obsessing about bike helmets, because “in most interactions between bike and truck, the helmet doesn’t make much of a difference,” and just isn’t relevant to the real safety discussion.

A writer for Strong Towns says maybe we need to talk about the dangers of bicycling, as well as advocating for more riders. Because it’s not fair or honest to to do one without the other.

Bicycling says if you really like spin class, try riding a real bicycle once in a while.

Two young Korean men finished a 70-day trip across the US to call attention to Korean comfort women in WWII; only 27 survivors remain today.

A Chicago bike rider was seriously injured by a woman fleeing in a stolen car, just seconds after barely missing a father taking his kids home in a cargo bike.

New signs tell Chicago bike riders to walk their bikes on what is supposed to be a multi-use trail, after a single “crackpot” threatened to sue the city.

New York police wanted to file charges in the case of an Australian tourist who was killed in a crash with a garbage truck after a taxi driver cut her off in the bike lane, but the district attorney refused to accept the case.

A New York website says Central Park is an oasis for bicyclists — if they can get there.

 

International

Practice makes perfect. Yamaha is out with their 25th generation of ebikes, after inventing the ped-assist category in 1993.

A Vancouver bike commuter says the city’s holier-than-thou bicyclists are ruining it for everyone; his point is that a little courtesy and respect for others make a big difference. Although he could make the point just as effectively without stereotyping the people he complains about.

No bias here. A Winnipeg TV station says a bike rider was killed when “collided” with a semi. After all, it couldn’t possibly be that a truck driver actually hit the person on the bike.

Toronto’s mayor calls for a crackdown on loud cars and motorcycles, saying their owners should be heavily fined for creating disturbances. Please, please, please let that spread here to LA. Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the link.

Chinese dockless bikeshare provider Mobike has thrown in the towel in Manchester, England after too much vandalism and too many stolen bikes.

The British government has dropped plans to raise the floor for liability claims to the equivalent of $6,500, which would prevent most bike riders from filing claims for minor injuries.

Britain’s roads minister — the equivalent of our Secretary of Transportation — tells parliament that segregated bike infrastructure is critical for improving traffic safety.

Local residents are threatening to sue to stop a 100-mile closed course UK ride that’s expected to draw up to 15,000 riders; they also plan a walking protest to block the route of the ride.

A German man who now lives on his bike plans to set a new record by riding over 14,000 miles from the Arctic Circle to Argentina in under 125 days.

 

Finally…

Not even bike-riding police commissioners are safe from lawbreaking drivers. When you can’t make the ride for the first time in 18 years, so your friends try to recreate it for him.

And hats off to whoever heroically filmed a British man being beaten by a bike thief in a strong-arm robbery, while a suited man politely tries to sort of, but not really, intervene.

It’s not like anyone would actually want to do something to stop it or anything.

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If you want to join the Militant Angeleno and me for the first-ever Militant Angeleno’s Epic CicLAvia Tour on September 30th, RSVP by emailing [email protected] 

We want to guarantee a relatively small group to make sure we can keep the group together, and everyone can hear.

Morning Links: Uber & Lyft join Bird & Lime in SaMo, San Gabriel River path closure, and Metro bus squeeze play

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the three-day Labor Day weekend.

Which means the streets will be filled with drivers leaving work early this afternoon to get a head start on the weekend. And the drinking — and smoking — will start soon after, and continue through Monday. 

Standard holiday rules apply. Assume every driver you see on the streets is under the influence. And those who aren’t are more likely to be looking at their phones than looking for you.

So ride accordingly.

Ride your bike safely and defensively. I want to see you back here bright and early Tuesday morning. 

Photo by Michael Spadoni from pexels.com

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Cooler heads prevailed in Santa Monica, which chose existing e-scooter providers Bird and Lime to participate in a year-long pilot program, along with newcomers Uber and Lyft.

Yes, that Uber and Lyft.

Each company will be allowed to provide up to 1,000 scooters and 2,000 ebikes in the coastal city, with 750 scooters allowed in the initial rollout.

Uber appears to be the only one of the four which currently has ebikes available with their Jump bikes. Presumably Lyft and Lime will follow suit, though it’s unclear if Bird has any interest in getting into the bikeshare business.

Let’s hope Los Angeles, which was supposed to send out cease and desist letters to both Bird and Lime this week, is paying attention.

Because this is how a smart city does it.

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A look at data in Charlotte NC shows that on a level playing field, dockless e-scooters are kicking dockless bikeshare’s ass, with nearly four times as many trips taken on scooters.

However, that could change once e-bikeshare is added to the mix.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg takes a look at Uber’s new Jump scooter.

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Mark your calendar if you ride the San Gabriel River Bike Path in Long Beach.

The city is working with the Los Angeles Department of Public Works on a plans for a one-day closure of the bike path between 2nd Street and 7th Street (California State Highway 22) next month.

The closure is tentatively set for September 17, 2018 from 8 am to 5 pm; plans should be finalized in another week or two.

Thanks to Long Beach Mobility & Healthy Living Programs Officer Michelle Mowery for the heads-up.

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CiclaValley got caught in a squeeze play with a Metro Bus in DTLA. Something that should never, ever happen.

Period.

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Local

Streetsblog’s Damien Newton says the MyFigueroa project opened to muted applause, thanks to too many compromises and what ended up as just a semi-protected bike lane, due to a lack of political support and opportunities for public involvement.

Speaking of Streetsblog, Joe Linton notices LA’s incredible disappearing sharrows on 4th Street, and Rosewood Ave. Personally, I consider sharrows a failed experiment; used correctly, they’re good for wayfinding and positioning riders outside the door zone, but little else.

The LACBC’s monthly Sunday Funday ride will meet up with twenty immigration rights advocates riding from Seattle to San Diego for a tour of Long Beach this Sunday.

A Santa Clarita magazine says the city’s Heads Up safety campaign may be working, with collisions down 12% over the first five months of this year.

Writing for the Long Beach Post, Brian Addison suggests the planned expansion of the 710 Freeway won’t be good for the surrounding communities. Or for people on foot or bikes, despite the promises.

 

State

The California legislature has passed AB 2989, which will limit dockless e-scooters to 15 mph, and remove the ridiculous helmet requirement. Now it’s on to the governor’s desk, where we have to worry whether we’ll get Jerry Browned once again.

Streetsblog urges a no vote on Prop 6, which would remove the state’s new gas tax to pay for desperately needed roadway repairs, calling it “an incoherent and childish effort to distract you from Donald Trump.”

A San Diego website recommends the top four things to do on an ebike in the city.

Life is cheap in San Luis Obispo, where a distracted driver walks with probation and community service in the death of a world-class triathlete, thanks in part to the kindness and forgiveness of the victim’s family. Thanks to Victor Bale for the heads-up.

San Francisco will bring back e-scooters after a four month ban, but gives the contracts to a couple of firms most scooter users have never heard of.

A columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle looks at the arrest of Rich City Rides founder Najari Smith for playing his music too loud and allegedly resisting arrest while leading a group ride, aka Biking While Black. His supporters will rally for Smith at a court hearing scheduled for this morning on the noise violation charge. No doubt he’ll be surrounded by countless drivers arrested in Oakland for bumping loud music from their cars. Right?

Frustration boiled over at a meeting to discuss the death of an Oakland man who was killed in a collision while riding his bike, as family members complained about a lack of information and the slow pace of the investigation.

 

National

Bike lawyer Bob Mionske starts a conversation on legal liability for group rides.

The booming popularity of ebikes is outpacing attempts to regulate them, as only 10 states have passed legislation to reclassify them. One of those ten is California, which should get credit for pioneering the regulations the others have copied.

Bike Snob goes e-scooting in Portland, and finds them “both highly convenient and laughably benign.” And wonder’s what’s not to like.

Ride carefully out there. A Baltimore bike rider is in critical condition after a collision with another bicyclist.

No bias here. After two bike riders are killed in separate hit-and-runs in a matter of hours in a Kentucky town, the local police urge riders to wear helmets and hi-viz instead of telling drivers not to hit people, and if they do, stop.

In an attempt to keep dockless bikeshare bikes from cluttering the sidewalks, DC makes the situation worse by requiring that they be locked to a bike rack or street sign at the end of each ride, which will greatly reduce the amount of available bike parking for everyone else.

A bicyclist is passing through Louisiana on her way to Key West in an attempt to be the first woman with a prosthetic leg to bike across the US.

After a Lousiana city councilman was killed when his bike was run down from behind by a negligent driver, the parish where the crash occurred naturally responds with a series of punitive, victim-blaming proposals aimed at the people on two wheels, instead of the ones in the big, dangerous machines.

 

International

No bias here, either. A British Columbia letter writer says no one uses the new bike lanes, and those who do are usually towing carts full of stolen goods.

An Alberta letter writer patiently explains that when a bike rider hits a dog, or anything else, they’re more likely to fall over than ride away.

Ottawa police stress that a woman was injured when she fell on her own while riding on a separated bike lane, and hit a passing truck when she fell. If someone can fall off their bike and hit another vehicle, it’s passing too damn close. And it could have been the close pass that caused her to fall.

A suspect has been arrested in the ebike hit-and-run that left a London woman critically injured as she was trying to cross the street. Security cam video clearly shows the victim dart out into the path of the rider, something that has been left out of the previous press reports. Just like with many motor vehicle crashes, if the bike rider had remained at the scene, there probably wouldn’t have been any charges. Or hysterical tabloid stories, for that matter.

A heroic Brit jumped into a moving van and wrestled the driver’s feet of the pedals to stop him after he ran over a bike rider, then led bystanders in pushing the van up a hill to get it off the victim, who was hospitalized in serious but stable condition.

It’s three years behind bars for an English driver who critically injured two bike riders because he was having an argument with his girlfriend — via video chat while driving.

Like most early car makers, Britain’s Aston Martin was founded by bicyclists. Which means James Bond could have been one of us, too.

A UK letter writer brings out every cliche in the book to call bicyclists an “absolute menace.

British advocacy group Cycling UK calls on the government to address a fear of cycling, as a new study shows fears about road safety is the main reason that keeps people off their bikes.

A new French study looks at whether there’s really any benefit to drafting uphill. And concludes there’s more than they thought.

Another ride to add to your bike bucket list — traveling from the German birthplace of the bicycle to the gateway to the Black Forest. Then again, word is the Netherlands isn’t bad, either.

A business writer says South Africans are becoming addicted to overseas cycling events.

An Australian study says it could save the country $380 million dollars a year if motor vehicle occupants all wore bicycle helmets. Remember that if a driver gets on your case for not wearing one. And before you get on mine, yes, I always wear a helmet when I ride, but believe grownups should be able to make that decision for themselves.

A Chinese volunteer teaching in Africa took the long way home, riding nearly 10,000 miles from Benin to the Forbidden Kingdom.

 

Competitive Cycling

A Kiwi cyclist reports he got death threats after getting angry with a teammate while winning gold in mountain biking at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year.

In today’s mostly spoiler-free Vuelta event, a rider goes from last place to first in the space of 24 hours.

 

Finally…

If it’s divided from the roadway, pained green and has little pictures of a bicycle stenciled on it, it may not be intended for motor vehicles. Sharrows do not a bike boulevard make.

And when you can’t remember the name of the foreign dignitary visiting your country, just call him “the bicycle guy.”

 

 

Morning Links: Cooler heads in the e-scooters debate, improving MyFig, and parking in a protected bike lane

Here are a couple of the smartest takes on the great e-scooters debate I’ve seen yet.

LA’s own CD15 Councilmember Joe Buscaino penned a great Op-Ed for the Los Angeles Daily News, in which he pointed out the real problem on our streets.

And it ain’t scooters.

Most of those concerned cited safety as their primary issue with dockless scooters- they disrupt traffic when ridden in traffic lanes, cause conflict when taken on the sidewalk by scofflaw riders, and cause accessibility issues when parked in all kinds of inappropriate places.

I understand these sentiments, because I see all the same issues on our streets and sidewalks — with cars. Cars clog our streets everyday in traffic jams which are only made worse when collisions occur. I see cars parked on the sidewalk and on front lawns all the time.

The worst part about cars is the manner in whic*h people are severely injured or even killed due to vehicle collisions. This isn’t some abstract problem — we have good hard evidence that children in America are twice as likely to die in traffic collisions relative to other affluent nations. Traffic collisions are the leading cause of death for children ages 2-14 in Los Angeles.

So while I get the concern for safety on scooters, it strikes me as misplaced to blame the scooters rather than the 4,000-pound steel machines that are actually hurting people.

It’s definitely worth reading the whole thing. And maybe remembering his name when Eric Garcetti is termed out as mayor in 2022.

In another great take, a writer for a governing website says cars cause all the same problems that people complain about e-scooters causing, but scooters don’t pose a risk to others. And smart planners will make room for them.

An Oakland panel discussion tackles the topic of e-scooters, saying they pose the potential to divert drivers for short trips up to three miles, and could be the key to getting safe bike lanes.

And an Op-Ed in the LA Times says let tech solve the problem of e-scooters.

Photo shamelessly borrowed from the Bird website.

………

As we’ve mentioned a few times, the long-delayed MyFigueroa project is finally getting an official unveiling on Thursday, after nearly a decade of planning and too many compromises.

Which have left some people ecstatic over the new protected bikeway, and others wondering why the city even bothered.

Fortunately, the LACBC and other bike advocates have made progress in addressing those complaints directly with LADOT.

Here’s what Michael MacDonald of Bike the Vote LA had to say.

We’ve been working behind the scenes in dialog with our local representatives and LADOT about the concerns that many have communicated in this group and on Twitter. We still have work to do, but we’ve made some significant progress that I wanted to share.

Most notably, those of you who visit 7th and Figueroa should find that the ‘beg buttons’ are gone. There are still pedestrian buttons at this intersection, but they aren’t mandatory in order to receive a green walk signal. Similarly, by Thursday the bike signals at Olympic and 9th St should default to a green light on every signal cycle.

We’re hoping to continue to make some progress on the signal design, illegal parking in the bike lane, and improving the look and feel of bike infrastructure to be something that people of all ages and abilities can use comfortably.

If you care about this project — and I believe all in this group do — I would encourage you to attend the opening event on Thursday morning.

Hope to see you there.

 

And this is how LADOT responded to the complaints, in addition to offering a detailed explanation of what was done and why.

Based on community comments, LADOT has made these adjustments to MyFigueroa:

  • Added bollards in areas where the bike lanes are generally unprotected and do not operate with bicycle signals, and for more physical separation and to discourage vehicles from stopping in the bike lane to load or unload or to park illegally
  • Allowed for better signal progression and reduced travel time for bicyclists by adjusting signal timing and instituting rest-in-red for the bicycle and right turn signal indicators
  • Extended the MyFig project north to facilitate a continuous protected northbound bike lane from 11th Street to Wilshire Boulevard (bike lane previously became unprotected at 8th Street and terminated at 7th Street) to allow for a more robust connection to bike lanes on 7th Street and the bike lane on Figueroa Street which continues to Cesar E. Chavez Avenue/Sunset Boulevard

………

Richard Rosenthal forwards word that Long Beach has installed a much needed parking-protected bike lane on Bellflower Blvd.

But not everyone seems to have gotten the memo.

Although you’d think the bike symbol right behind his car might have been a clue.

………

CicLAvia is holding a meeting to discuss the next event on September 30th, which will end in my figurative backyard.

………

LAPD Sgt. Helper has more than lived up to his name, going out of his way to help LA’s bicycling community.

Now it’s our turn to repay him.

A bike cop and bicyclist himself, Helper is raising funds to ride in next year’s Police Unity Tour to honor fallen officers and raise funds for a National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial and Museum.

In other words, a good guy riding his bike to raise funds for a great cause. If that doesn’t make you open your wallet and make a donation, I don’t know what will.

And yes, I may be broke these days. But I still managed to scrape a little together to help him out.

………

Local

Now it makes a more sense. Yesterday we linked to a story saying the Gabriel National Recreation Trail was reopening this weekend thanks to the efforts of volunteers. But make that the popular Gabrielino Trail singletrack path through the Angeles National Forest.

TMZ reports actress Maura Tierney appeared to be okay a day after she was hit by a driver while riding in the Washington Blvd bike lane in Marina del Rey, as a paparazzo catches her walking gingerly near her home. Just be glad you don’t have photographers waiting in the bushes outside your door after your next crash.

Bellflower is looking for input as they develop a new active transportation plan. Thanks to Bike SGV for the link.

 

State

No news is good news. Right?

 

National

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on, as a Utah endurance cyclist was the victim of a jerk in a truck rolling coal — and they have a photograph to prove it. But the state police apparently don’t give a damn.

This is who we share the roads with. A Colorado Springs CO news team was lucky to survive when they were nearly run down by a driver while reporting live from a crime scene — even though they were standing in a bike lane. Or maybe because they were in a bike lane. Thanks to Jeff Vaughn for the heads-up.

A Fargo ND city commissioner calls for raising bicycle traffic tickets from $5 to $20, saying traffic infractions committed on a bike should be treated the same as those committed in a motor vehicle. Because bikes pose just as much risk to others as cars and SUVs, right? And if they’re charging drivers just $20, something is seriously wrong. 

A San Antonio company is offering ebike conversion kits to transform your ride into an up to 30 mph speedster for a mere $800 to $1,200.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. An Indiana man got a gentle caress on the wrist for running down a bike rider while high on methadone, leaving his victim seriously injured. Somehow, the judge was convinced to allow him to serve the paltry one year sentence at home, despite two prior convictions.

The NYPD is targeting delivery riders for using illegal throttle-controlled ebikes, rather than ticketing the companies they work for — even though the law clearly says the employer is responsible.

The New York driver who left a car parked in a bike lane with a note saying it predated the lane explained himself, saying the bike lane was painted around the car two days after he left on a weeklong vacation.

You’ve got to be kidding. A DC police spokesperson calls dead pedestrians lazy for getting killed by drivers, and the unquestioning local ABC affiliate runs with the demonstrably false story.

 

International

Vox talks with Chris and Melissa Bruntlett, the couple behind Vancouver’s Modacity, and authors of Building the Cycling City: The Dutch Blueprint for Urban Vitality.

Nova Scotia businesses are discovering the benefits of catering to bike tourists.

Chinese dockless bikeshare company Mobike is bringing their new ebikes to the streets of London to offer “sweat-free cycling.”

It’s happened again. A London bicyclist fled the scene after critically injuring a woman in a collision as she was crossing the street; police found his abandoned bike a mile away. Just to be clear, people on bikes, scooters, skateboards or anything else have just as much responsibility to remain at the scene and help a victim as drivers do, but too often don’t. So just stop already.

A British HuffPo writer says you shouldn’t listen to pro cyclists about the helmet debate, noting that bicycling is safer than walking.

Now that’s how you make a point. Two weeks after the Lord Mayor of Dublin was caught parking his official car in a bike lane, Irish bicyclists gave him a new bike so he can use the lane legally next time.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A 97-year old Dutchman rides his bike to old folks homes to play piano five days a week. Of course, that means I’d have to learn to play one.

It was a dark and stormy night. A bike tour in a Mumbai suburb gives riders a thrill with scary stories as they travel the city on two wheels.

A New Zealand city see sharrows as the bicycling solution to narrow streets and parked cars.

Caught on video: A New Zealand security camera captured a bike-riding boy getting hit by a van driver; fortunately, he wasn’t seriously injured. As always with videos like this, be sure it’s really something you want to see before you click the link, because you can’t unsee it.

Caught on video too: A pair of helmet-less bicyclists ride through an Aussie freeway tunnel on bikeshare bikes, apparently changing their mind halfway through and jumping on a ledge before transportation workers pick them up.

 

Competitive Cycling

Three-time national road champ Megan Guarnier announced her retirement from pro cycling after next month’s world championships. Her eleven-year career included wins in the Giro Rosa, Tour of California and Emakumeen Saria, as well as this year’s Women’s Tour de Yorkshire; she’s leaving to pursue an MD/PhD in neuroscience.

Screw spoilers. Popular American cyclist Ben King made his mark on the Vuelta, winning Tuesday’s stage in a sprint to the finish after what ended up as a two-man breakaway.

The folding of the Aqua Blue Sport Continental cycling team means there’s now another 15 riders and support staff looking for work.

Former Jelly Belly and US team member Corey Steinbrecher says he’s glad he raced clean; he’s now a resident at a Tennessee hospital after graduating medical school.

 

Finally…

At least we don’t have to dodge tigers. Maybe there’s an explanation for LA drivers after all.

And why did the chicken cross the road? Apparently to creep out and harass kids on the way to school.

Morning Links: Support injured bike rider with new T-shirt design, and new bill could end CA e-scooter helmet law

Here’s your chance to look good by helping out an injured rider.

Several months ago, a man who goes by the name of Hery reached out to me for help after he was injured by the driver of a car.

I gave him what advice I could; unfortunately, he’s still struggling, as the message below indicates.

Eight months ago while riding my bike to work I was hit by car. I woke up with wiring in my mouth and have been on disability ever since. Recently I was informed my Medi-Cal won’t be covering some medical expenses, and over these last 8 months I’ve also accumulated a lot of debt just trying to get by. So I’ve decided to design T-shirts to raise money for bills and other expenses.

This is what Hery’s bike looked like after he was injured in the crash

It’s a great looking design, and a good cause, helping someone get back on his feet after he was injured in a crash.

And it’s available on anything from T-shirts and hoodies, to stickers and coffee mugs.

………

A new bill passed by the state senate on Thursday would remove the ridiculous helmet requirement for dockless e-scooters — and the nearly $200 fines too many users have had to pay for breaking the law.

AB 2989 would also cap scooter speeds at their current 15 mph, while allowing cities to permit their use on more types of streets. Powered scooters are currently restricted to streets with bike lanes or speed limits of 25 mph or less.

The bill needs to return to the assembly before it goes to Governor Brown, where experience tells us it will face an uncertain fate.

………

Todd Munson does what I’ve often threatened to do, recording two minutes of scofflaw drivers running the stop sign near his home.

I could do the same thing at either of the intersections closest to our apartment, with the same results.

Yet so many drivers seem to get apoplectic they see bike and scooter riders doing the same things they do every day.

………

Los Angeles bike riders have to fight to get a bike corral. Riders in the the Netherlands get this, instead.

Thanks to Byron Smith for the heads-up.

………

There was a time when Bike the Vote was more than a slogan, as an academic journal site remembers when bike riders were a political block courted by the GOP. And helped deliver the vote to William McKinley in 1896.

………

Evidently, it’s not just Los Angeles.

Lincoln, Nebraska residents and bike riders support a lane reduction on major street, while a business association predicts a traffic apocalypse and calls it the first salvo in the war on cars.

In Jacksonville FL, the city wants to remove lanes from a street to improve safety, but local residents insist they like it just the way it is.

And an Edmonton, Canada letter writer says a lane reduction and two-way cycle tracks don’t make any sense, and he can’t understand why bike riders wouldn’t prefer a quieter, tree-lined street. The answer is they probably would, if it went the same places, with no stops and with signalized intersections at major streets, because bike riders need to get where they’re going just like drivers do.

………

Local

LA Magazine previews the My Figueroa Complete Streets project, which will be officially unveiled this Thursday.

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton writes that a wealthy neighborhood gets street repairs on dangerous Griffith Park Blvd where a rider was injured, while a less well off neighborhood gets signs and a recommendation from the city attorney to remove the bike lanes instead of fixing them.

Curb extensions are installed on Pico Blvd to improve safety at Hauser and Curson. Although it clearly could have been the first step to installing protected bike lanes, instead.

 

State

An Oceanside bike rider is lucky to be alive after surviving a crash with a commuter train that left him with minor injuries. Let that be yet another reminder to never try to go around crossing gates, even if it appears to be safe at the time.

The San Diego Union-Tribune asks if the city is ready to eliminate parking requirements for downtown housing.

Members of Rich City Rides rode to Oakland’s city hall to protest the arrest of founder Najari Smith for Biking While Black.

Sad news from Austria, where beloved Oakland triathlete Alistair Eeckman was killed in a crash with a bus while on a training ride, just one day after finishing sixth in the Powerman Austria; he was just 23. Thanks to Matt Stewart for the news.

 

National

Streetsblog says America’s car culture is literally shortening your life.

Your next Uber may not have a driver — or four wheels. The ride-hailing company’s new CEO sees a shift to ebikes and scooters for short trips.

A Colorado couple literally wrote the book on cycling the Great Divide, with all proceeds going to the Adventure Cycling Association.

Sioux City, Iowa, has made progress when it comes to bicycling, but still has a long way to go.

Tour de France laterne rouge Lawson Craddock returns home to a hero’s welcome at Houston’s Alkek Velodrome, after raising what could be as much as $400,000 to rebuild it following last year’s Hurricane Harvey. And announces it will be the site of USA Cycling’s new Olympic development program.

A Texarkana TX newspaper gets it, explaining that the city’s new sharrows don’t actually change anything, since bicyclists already have a legal right to ride in the traffic lane, but simply remind drivers of that fact.

Around a thousand people turned out for a bike ride to honor a Milwaukee bicycling icon who founded a chain of bike shops and created bike paths across the US.

I want to be like him when I grow up. A Minnesota man rides his age to celebrate his 90th birthday, breaking it up into six 15 mile rides.

A Tennessee family has developed a device to fit on the handlebar ends on kids bikes, that will hopefully prevent puncture injuries that aren’t as rare as they seem. Something like that should be required for every kid’s bike sold; every year, several children are seriously injured or killed by worn bike parts.

Streetsblog says a single double-parked truck can undermine everything the New York Department of Transportation does to keep streets safe for cyclists and pedestrians, because it all falls apart without enforcement.

A DC bike advocate says our streets don’t have to make us unhappy.

A Florida singletrack rider rescued a baby raccoon by putting him in his backpack, and riding him to safety before the coyotes could get him. It may be cute, but most experts recommend against trying to rescue seemingly abandoned animals; chances are, the mother is hiding somewhere nearby.

 

International

Ottawa bike riders are taking to social media to try to track down their stolen bicycles.

Now that’s a close call. An Ottawa bike rider decides he needs to buy some lights after a driver makes a left turn directly in front of him in the dim twilight. Which he should have had long before this ever happened.

Speaking of close calls, a British bike rider was nearly sideswiped by a trailer pulled by a van in a near-miss caught on bike cam.

Pamplona has running with the bulls; Birmingham, England has wheelie-popping teens riding with the buses.

Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas says bike helmets should be made mandatory in the UK, adding “I’ve put on a helmet more times than I’ve buckled a seatbelt.” Then tries to walk it back the next day.

A New Zealand Op-Ed says there’s no need for a war between bicyclists and motorists; just slow traffic and build some decent infrastructure.

 

Competitive Cycling

A reminder of the dangers of amateur racing, as 30 riders went down in a mass crash in a Wisconsin race, sending four people to the  hospital, and leaving a number of others with minor injuries.

Three years ago, Staci Nash was a two-time NCAA Division II track champ — the running kind, not cycling. Today, she’s a two-time national mountain biking champ.

Ritchie Porte says I beg your pardon, I never promised you I was going for the general classification in the Vuelta.

Speaking of the Vuelta, Deadspin calls it the strangest, hardest stage race of the cycling season, and predicts this year’s race will kick ass. Meanwhile, Cycling News says it’s the last chance for ten riders.

Great long read from Peter Flax, who recounts the strange happenings 70 years ago as two legendary racers faced off in the 1948 world championships, which neither one won.

 

Finally…

Sometimes riding down a freeway in rush hour traffic calls for nothing more than a g-string. Yes, you can still take a Sunday drive — as long as it’s on a bike.

And when you hear hoofbeats, stop and say hi.

 

Morning Links: Take action to preserve Rowena bike lanes, why drivers run from crashes, and more e-scooter news

It’s bad enough that we can’t get the Complete Streets we were promised.

Now we’re having to fight just to hold on to the ones we’ve got.

While there seems to be a temporary ceasefire in the fight over the parking protected bike lanes on Venice Blvd, the highly successful lane reduction and bike lanes on Rowena Ave are imperiled, following a $50,000 study commissioned by Councilmember David Ryu.

Residents blame the redesigned street for an increase in cut-through traffic in the surrounding neighborhood, even though pervious studies have shown that the street carries more motor vehicle traffic, more safely, now than it did before.

And even though the study showed no link between the cut-through traffic and the removal of excess capacity on Rowena.

A more likely culprit is the Waze app, which frequently directs drivers onto streets that aren’t intended to handle that kind of traffic.

The new study ends by suggesting four alternatives, only one of which would retain the current Complete Streets design; the other three appear to be included to give Ryu political cover should he decide to rip out the bike lanes and restore the street to it’s original unsafe capacity.

Local group Keep Rowena Safe offers their response to the study, and urges everyone to contact Ryu and Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, who represent the surrounding area, to demand that the current design stay in place.

KEEP OUR KIDS SAFE

KEEP ROWENA SAFE

KEEP THE ROAD DIET

Please e-mail Councilmembers David Ryu and Mitch O’Farrell

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

And don’t forget to cc Mayor Garcetti and Assemblymember Laura Friedman

[email protected]

[email protected]

You can find a sample letter here.

………

Troubling piece from the Washington Post, as the paper’s transportation writer looks at the psychology behind America’s rising rate of hit-and-run crashes.

And concludes drivers flee because they’ve been drinking, because they panic, think it’s no big deal or they can’t cope with what just happened.

Or because they just lack good moral judgement.

Gee, you think?

………

Still more e-scooters in the news.

A writer for City Watch says e-scooters will never be a first mile/last mile solution for LA transit, in part because they don’t work on hills (actually, they do). And in part because LA and Metro failed to build the bike lanes and bike parking we’ve been promised.

The Have A Go website takes LA to task, saying the issues with scooters are a problem of the city’s own making, repeating the charge that the failure lies in the city’s failure to build out the bike lane networks contained in the 2010 bike plan.

West Hollywood’s semi-enforced ban on dockless scooters appears to be working, with complaints dropping to roughly two a week. Although that ban couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the recent increase in WeHo traffic congestion, as previous scooter users go back to Uber and Lyft.

Pasadena may invite scooter providers to the city, as long as they promise to play nice.

Santa Monica reminds everyone of the rules governing scooter use.

Graphic from the Santa Monica e-scooter website

The Louisville KY newspaper looks at the city’s experience with e-scooters after their first month on the streets, where only 100 are allowed under initial limits.

The Department of DIY strikes in Cincinnati, where a couple of people used a little paint to create their own scooter parking spaces, calling them “Bird Cages,” to show how easily the scooter parking problem can be solved.

The Philadelphia Inquirer wants to pull the brakes on e-scooters.

Streetsblog asks if it’s time to redefine the bike lane in the age of e-scooters and other mobility devices.

The Verge says scooter providers are trying to rehabilitate their image in the face of city crackdowns across the US; Lime is allowing users in three cities to donate to preselected charities through their app, while promising to fund new bike lanes.

………

Local

Bike rider Doug Weiskopf writes that he was bullied off the Mariposa Bridge by complaints from Burbank horse riders, who he says have appropriated the bridge and portions of Griffith Park as their own.

The LACBC is providing a new monthly recap of the projects they’re working on, ranging from Rowena to getting the promised bike lanes on the new Spring Street bridge.

 

State

An Op-Ed from the chair of the Santa Ana Bikeways and Walkability Committee credits Councilwoman Katrina Foley with creating the committee and passing the city’s first new bike plan since 2002, and urges her election as mayor.

San Clemente will allow bicycles and ebikes on the city’s Beach Trail. Except during the summer months, when most people would to want to use it.

San Diego police are looking for four men and a woman who chased down a bike rider in their car, then punched and stabbed him multiple times; fortunately, his injuries were not life threatening.

Thousand Oaks is adding bike lanes on the north side of Moorpark Road, and replacing missing sidewalks, to improve safety for bicyclists tackling the Norwegian Grade climb.

The San Francisco Chronicle suggest ditching the car and exploring Sacramento by bike.

 

National

Bicycling offers five tips to use your bike to burn belly fat. The magazine also offers 30 of their favorite crazy bike videos, if you’re willing to click through 30-plus pages.

A Denver nonprofit has committed to giving 25,000 bicycles to second grade students over the next five years.

Police in Grand Junction CO bust seven bike thieves and recover a large cache of hot bikes after a bait bike leads to a bicycle chop shop. This is why the LAPD need to use bait bikes like other California police departments; it’s less about arresting a single thief than getting the ringleaders behind them.

A Colorado fundraiser serves up beer to raise funds to send bikes to Africa, averaging 20 bicycles a year to help change lives, one bike at a time.

A Wisconsin paper looks back on the efforts of a pair of bike-riding hippies in the 1970s that set the state on its bike friendly path.

Businesses along New York’s former Boulevard of Death say no one’s using the new bike lanes, and they’d rather have their parking spaces back, even if it means a return to the deadly street.

The war on cars is a myth, but the war on bikes goes on. A road raging 87-year old North Carolina man faces charges after he attempted to make an unsafe pass around a group of bicyclists, then cut back in behind the lead rider and preceded to run her off the road in retaliation for his own crappy driving.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A South Carolina woman plans to celebrate her 80th birthday by riding 444 miles along the Natchez Trace Parkway to raise $80,000 provide bikes to women in Tanzania.

 

International

Following a summer of road rage and bicycling deaths, a Toronto website discusses how bike riders can make peace with motorists. Mostly by wearing a helmet, keeping the tunes turned down and behaving yourself on the streets.

The recent death of Queen Elizabeth’s homeopathic physician has brought to light the bicycling deaths of four people in five years in a single London neighborhood — and the efforts of the city’s transportation department to block safety improvements under former Mayor Boris Johnson.

A six-year old English kid set a goal of riding his bike 25 miles this month to raise money for the homeless.

A Welsh website clarifies what is and isn’t allowed for people on bicycles in the UK’s Highway Code to clear up the confusion and conflicts with drivers.

A Danish city councilor calls for a ban on gas-powered motor scooters, not to protect bike riders, but to protect the air.

Legendary Italian framebuilder Dario Pegoretti died unexpectedly of a heart condition on Thursday. Bicycling profiled Pegoretti a few years ago.

Saudi women are wearing sports abayas that allow them to bicycle more comfortably.

Sometimes DIY traffic calming efforts can backfire, as the lead riders in a group of cyclists found out the hard way. They were injured when they hit a homemade speed bump intended to slow noisy traffic in an Australian national park; one rider will miss the masters world road championships he trained for the past year with a concussion, broken ribs and broken collarbone, as well as a broken bike.

Good question. A Kiwi bicyclist wants to know why so many people hate cyclists. From the conversations and comments I’ve seen, the main objection is lawbreaking bike riders — as if the majority of drivers don’t break traffic laws on a daily basis. But violations by bike riders are somehow seen as different.

A British website says the real cost of Chinese dockless bikeshare bikes isn’t what you pay, it’s the personal data and privacy you give up to use them.

 

Competitive Cycling

Lawson Craddock’s lanterne rouge ride through the entire Tour de France with a broken shoulder blade has raised nearly $400,000 to repair and improve Houston’s Alkek Velodrome, which was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Harvey last year.

A Russian cyclist was declared ineligible for the Asian Games at the last minute after several countries complained about her recent citizenship change to avoid sanctions on Russian athletes.

A Swedish scientist is working on a test to detect blood packing using an athlete’s own blood to stop one of the most common forms of cheating.

 

Finally…

Evidently, calling something “the worst cycling event ever” can have an impact, after all. What it’s like to wear bike shorts for a week, without coming in actual contact with a bicycle or anything.

And if you want to see the pope on the Emerald Isle, get on your bike.

Or maybe get on a plane or a boat first. It could be a wet ride otherwise.

 

Morning Links: Scooter no more — Bird and Lime get the boot from LA, and weigh in on the future of LA County

It was nice while it lasted.

LA’s scooter boom appears to be coming to an end, at least for the foreseeable future, as neo-luddite members of the city council force their removal from the streets in most areas.

Even though the council’s Public Safety Committee voted unanimously against an e-scooter ban proposed by self-proclaimed environmentalist Paul Koretz.

Instead, LADOT will be sending out cease-and-desist letters to Bird and Lime demanding that they immediately remove their scooters everywhere in the city, except for a handful of approved pilot areas.

Not that we’ve been told where those might be.

However, Streetsblog’s Joe Linton suggests we might still see scooters in the districts of some of the more supportive councilmembers, such as Joe Buscaino, Mike Bonin and José Huizar.

On the other hand, you can expect every single scooter to be pulled from districts represented by Koretz, Mitch Englander, David Ryu and Mitch O’Farrell. (Correction: Linton says in a comment below that Ryu has been supportive of scooters and bikeshare, so there may be hope for his district.)

In fact, here’s what O’Farrell said in committee yesterday.

…Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell weighed in today in very clear opposition to scooters, saying that e-scooters are “endangering the public” and that he expected them to cause a “terrible tragedy” to happen at “any moment.” O’Farrell called for rules much stricter than apply to cars: “immediate impound” of e-scooters blocking rights-of-way, with “no limits on confiscation.”

Maybe someone should point out the terrible tragedies caused by motor vehicles in his district on a daily basis. And his own opposition to the planned Complete Streets makeover of Temple Street.

The current scooter ban is based on a motion quietly approved in March in response to dockless bikeshare, but which Linton says is broad enough to cover scooters — and virtually any other form of transportation.

In her August 16 L.A. Times article L.A. officials moved to ban rental scooters in March. So why are they everywhere? Laura Nelson broke the news that the L.A. City Council, in a discussion on dockless bike-share, approved an an amended motion (council file 17-1125) banning “dockless transportation programs.” The motion, approved in March, reads in part:

“IMPOSE a moratorium, with the exception of existing pilot projects initiated either through Council motion or with the Councilmember of the district’s support, on dockless transportation programs until a regulatory system that protects Los Angeles communities can be established.”

As the Times reports, the language was intended as a ban on new dockless bike-share, but that “the language was broad enough to apply to… Bird and Lime scooters.” The language may arguably even be broad enough to ban cars, buses, airplanes, skateboards, privately-owned bicycles, and maybe even shoes, escalators, stairs… but the issue before the council is e-scooters.

That means you can expect the extremely popular Lime Bikes to disappear from the CSUN campus, as well.

Linton reports that the scooters, and possibly dockless bikeshare, could be back on a more limited basis — most likely after the first of the year, following a 120-day waiting period once new regulations are approved by the full council.

But it’s yet another example of some LA councilmembers failing to support alternative transportation in any form, as well as anything that inconveniences drivers in the slightest.

And more hypocrisy from elected officials who claim to be concerned about climate change and the environment, but seem to go out of their way to keep Angelenos in their cars.

As Santa Monica and Long Beach have shown, it’s possible to work with scooter and bikeshare providers to develop effective regulations while keeping them on the streets, and in the hands of devoted users.

And keeping those users out of their cars, Ubers and Lyfts.

But that makes too much sense for our city council to even try.

………

As long as we’re talking scooters, let’s keep going.

Students at San Diego State University are quickly adopting to e-scooters and dockless bikeshare, while racking up tickets for violating the rules governing their use.

A Portland-area paper lists the city’s five most aggrieved complaints about scooters.

A Houston columnist says the alternative to automobiles is here, and its name is Bird. Which is probably why LA is banning it.

New York city councilmembers are drafting legislation to bring scooters to the streets of the city before a key subway line shuts down early next year.

………

Here’s your chance to weigh in on the future of LA County.

Metro is working with a program called Our Next LA to gauge what matters to area residents on a neighborhood level.

First up is a very brief explanation of the program, with a simple one question survey asking what you’d like to see in the near future.

Like maybe safer streets and an actual bikeway network crossing the city and county.

That’s followed by a more detailed, 10-minute questionnaire aimed at capturing the needs of specific neighborhoods while ranking priorities on spending and urgency.

Thanks to Mike Kaiser for the heads-up.

………

Local

The LACBC is asking for your suggestions on improvements needed for the My Figueroa project before it officially opens next week; they point out a number of problem areas, including confusing signals and cars parking in the non-protected sections of the bike lane.

This is who we share the roads with. Hip hop DJ Big Boy had to be held back after he was the victim of a pants dropping, falling-down drunk driver in Calabasas Tuesday afternoon. To top it off, the driver — who took a swig of vodka from the driver’s seat right afterwards — is a prosecutor with the DA’s office, who is currently on leave for reasons that would seem to be painfully obvious.

 

State

Caught on video: The CHP busted a woman for riding her bicycle in the traffic lanes of San Francisco’s Bay Bridge during rush hour traffic; she was taken to a mental health facility for evaluation.

Nice long read from Bike Magazine says Mammoth’s two-wheeled history of firsts is propelling it to a fat tire future.

 

National

Bike Snob offers four tips to become a mindful bike rider.

The rich get richer. Portland is repurposing 210 underutilized parking spaces as space for new bike lanes as part of a $3.27 million road repurposing project. Oops. As James points out below, this is from the other Portland, the one in Maine. But it’s still probably more bike friendly than most of SoCal, where parking is sacred.

Good read from a Boise, Idaho writer who describes what it’s like to have your bike stolen, after someone snatched his unlocked Surly. And how he got it back thanks to Bike Index, his local bike shop and an observant cop. Do I really need to remind you yet again to register your bike before it gets stolen?

After a homeless Arkansas man’s bicycle was damaged in a crash, a kindhearted woman gave him her own bike, while a cop at the scene bought him a meal at a drive-in.

Wisconsin planners say bike paths are good for businesses and neighborhoods, noting that a nearby bike trail increased property values by 9%.

No bias here. Chicago police refuse to ticket a bus driver who hit a bike-riding tiki bar bartender in a left cross because “both vehicles had the green” — even though the bus driver clearly failed to yield the right-of-way.

A Pittsburgh paper marks the 25th anniversary of the city’s bike festival by remembering the bad old days, and saying drivers should thank bicyclists, not curse them.

You’ve got to be kidding. A postal carrier parked in a New York bike lane called the police because a bicyclist was blocking her path. And when the police showed up, they told the rider that mail carriers a legal right to use the bike lane. Hint: they don’t.

Good question. The recently revived Gothamist asks why ebikes are okay for New York’s bikeshare system, but not for the city’s delivery riders.

Virginia bicyclists fear plans to expand Arlington National Cemetery could make the area more dangerous for people on bikes, unless it also includes a bi-directional bike lane.

Florida added a new segment of the 250-mile Coast to Coast Connector bike trail, which is 80% finished.

 

International

A design website says Quebec City’s competition for new bike rack designs resulted in seven over-designed racks at an eye-popping $23,500 each.

The former Raleigh headquarters has been listed as Britain’s 400,000th historic building; the company was the world’s largest bikemaker when the building opened in 1931.

Caught on video too: A well-organized burglary crew stole over $65,000 worth of bicycles from a family-owned English bike shop in less than three minutes.

Bicyclists are coming from all over the world to honor former British bikemaker Jack Taylor.

Traffic police in Chandigarh, India have formed a bicycle patrol to encourage bike riders to use the city’s 124 miles of mostly unused cycle tracks. If people don’t use your bikeways, it’s a pretty good indication that they are a) unsafe, b) in the wrong place, or c) all of the above.

The next time someone rants that bicyclists should be required to have a license and registration, tell ’em to move to Abu Dhabi.

What passes for a journalist in New Zealand says bikes should be banned because she doesn’t want to be inconvenienced. And bicyclists can go ride in a nonexistent velodrome, even though the rider who pissed her off was clearly riding for transportation.

A Singaporean soldier driving in his daughter to school is credited with saving the life of an 81-year old bike rider after he was seriously injured in crash with a motorcyclist.

 

Competitive Cycling

The winner of last weekend’s Paracycling World Cup relates how handcycling brought him back from the brink after losing a leg in a car crash.

Irish cyclist Nicolas Roche has struggled this year as he’s dealt with the emotional fallout of his brother’s leukemia relapse.

An Aussie cycling club has created a racing scholarship for young women riders who can’t get a sponsor.

A writer for Cycling Tips says don’t bother trying to take pictures, or you’ll miss all the excitement of bike racing.

 

Finally…

Forget scooters, we could be dodging rolling delivery robots. Be careful what you wish for — a new backpack would let you send messages to the drivers behind you.

And if a press release says your X-ray equipment is going to be used to check for motor doping at the Tour de France, try putting it out before the Tour de France.

Just a suggestion.

 

Morning Links: Smith vindicated for BWB, Beverly Hills Complete Streets meeting, and more e-scooter news

Good news.

The Alameda County DA’s office has dropped the charges against Najari Smith, founder of the Richmond, CA bike co-op Rich City Rides.

Smith was arrested by Oakland police on August 3rd while leading a weekly social bike ride, ostensibly for illegally playing amplified music.

However, witnesses at the scene were convinced he was busted for Biking While Black.

A statement released by the Oakland Police Department in response to the public outcry over the arrest said Smith was “impeding traffic” and “refused to provide identification or any information that would assist the officers in identifying him.”

Even though Smith says he cooperated with the officers and provided them with two forms of ID.

Fortunately, he won’t face any serious consequences for the misguided arrest. Although no one can give him back the two days he spent locked behind bars before making bail.

………

Beverly Hills will hold a workshop to discuss Complete Streets in the former Biking Black Hole tomorrow night.

………

Long Beach’s first evening Beach Streets event takes place this Saturday. Let’s hope CicLAvia follows their lead and schedules a few evening or nighttime events.

………

Today’s common theme is yet another return to the e-scooter debate.

After a Cleveland woman was killed by a DUI driver while she was riding a scooter, the focus was on the dangers of scooters, rather than the dangers of drivers who admit snorting heroin before getting behind the wheel.

Streetsblog gets it, saying scooters aren’t a public safety hazard, but streets designed only for cars are.

He gets it, too. A Portland writer says if it makes sense to charge for scooters to use city streets, then it also makes sense to charge proportionately for cars to use them.

No bias here. The Philadelphia Inquirer says the e-scooter sky is falling, and it’s time for panic before they besmirch the city’s streets.

BuzzFeed says people with broken bones and missing teeth are turning up in ERs around the nation as a result of scooter crashes, although no hard data is available.

Bloomberg may have the smartest take, saying scooters pose a serious challenge to the reign of cars by providing convenient first and last mile solutions, as well as transportation for quick errands.

And Santa Monica is dealing with the problem of haphazardly parked scooters by providing designated scooter parking on the sidewalk. Although a better solution would be to replace a car parking spot with parking for the more efficient scooters.

………

Local

Streetsblog offers a review of Sunday’s sparsely attended open streets event in Huntington Park and Vernon, which could have benefited from better promotion.

CiclaValley previews Bike Walk Burbank’s 4th Annual Midnight Ramble this Saturday.

Still no word on who is behind the rash of shootings at Malibu Creek State Park, or whether bike riders, hikers and campers are safe there after a camper was murdered earlier this year.

 

State

The California Sun lists seven must-see California destinations operated by the Bureau of Land Management.

The 11th Annual Bike the Bay rolls this Sunday across the iconic San Diego Coronado Bridge and around the San Diego Bay.

Stockton residents have installed a ghost bike for a rider who was killed in an unsolved 2016 hit-and-run.

This is who we share the roads with. A San Jose woman called the police after she got home at 2 am, and discovered a dead pedestrian lodged under her truck; she was not arrested, despite driving with a suspended license and an outstanding warrant for theft.

 

National

The Seattle Times applauds nearby Bellevue for a pilot bike lane project that uses a variety of separators, from bollards to planters, to determine what works best and how it’s accepted by the public and business owners.

An Albuquerque man offers an impassioned Op-Ed calling for drivers who hit bike riders to face justice and for the city to do more to protect bicyclists, after his friend who refused to own a car was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike.

Texas Senator John Cornyn welcomes riders to this week’s Hotter’n Hell 100 in Wichita Falls, after helping out as a volunteer last year.

An Iowa bicyclist offers advice on how to avoid killing someone on a shared use path. Because someone recently did.

A Catholic monk stops in Oklahoma on an unsupported cross-country ride to promote religious unity; his indirect route has taken him over 4,000 miles to get just halfway across the US.

Video has been released of the crash involving the hit-and-run Kentucky mayor that sent a 16-year old girl to the hospital. It’s hard to see, but it appears to show the mayor’s SUV hit the girl’s bike without knocking her down, supporting his contention that she rode off without stopping.

A Detroit website examines the Motor City’s use of road diets to successfully remake its streets.

Pacific Standard magazine looks at ghost bikes, including a moving ghost bike prayer written by Pittsburgh minister.

New ped-assist bikeshare ebikes are the alternative transportation alternative for New Yorkers stranded by the shutdown of a major subway line. Not surprisingly, the mayor didn’t show up for his own widely promoted ride to promote them.

Oops. A New York cop admits on video that his supervisor ordered officers not to ticket people who park in bike lanes.

Pennsylvania police crack down on groups of teens who block traffic with their bikes and shout obscenities at drivers.

Now you, too, can own your very own dockless bikeshare bike, because Ofo may be no more in DC, but a local bike co-op is selling off some of their bikes for the low, low price of $100.

 

International

A writer for the New Republic says the modern automobile must die in order to fight climate change.

The Mother Nature Network provides photos of 18 spectacular pedestrian and bike bridges around the world.

A European website looks at Complete Streets design in Vancouver, where they’re busy doing it right.

A Toronto writer recommends having your bike tattooed with a registration number from Britain’s Bike Registry to prevent theft and help recover it if it is stolen. I recommend the free Bike Index registration, but whatever you do, register your bike somewhere. Now.

WTF? A Toronto newspaper asks if bikeshare users give “real” cyclists a bad name. Unless your bicycle is imaginary, you’re a real cyclist until the moment you step off it.

A Hamilton, Ontario website calls a newly resurfaced road design “deranged” after the city blocks off space where a curbside bike lane could go, then paints sharrows in the traffic lane.

An Irish mayor has turned his own reserved parking space into a bike corral.

A bill in the Israeli Knesset would require all ebike riders to wear a helmet any time they’re on their bikes.

 

Competitive Cycling

Bicycling tells you how to watch the Vuelta, if you’re willing to fork out the bucks; the race starts this Saturday, but won’t be carried on American TV. Let’s all send a big FU to NBC, which has decided to charge to stream the races they used to carry on cable.

No wonder women’s cycling is so exciting. A new study shows female cyclists race at a greater intensity than their male counterparts, who sustain more load and volume over longer courses.

Pro cyclist Lauren Hall retired after winning the final stage of the Colorado Classic, ending a career that included three national track cycling championships, and two second place finishes in the US road cycling championships.

The pros are going with snub nosed saddles.

 

Finally…

When your on-camera bike ride is only for the cameras. This is who we share the roads with, too; thanks to Erik Griswold for the heads-up.

And always try to look up from your phone before hitting a parked car.

………

Eid Mubarak to all observing Eid al-Adha today.

 

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